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Las Vegas World Market Center Post Show Report

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Las Vegas Market, the fastest growing trade fair in the world, presented more than 3.5 million square feet of exhibition space at January’s Las Vegas Market with more than 1,500 companies representing all categories of home furnishings, including furniture, decorative accessories, lighting, area rugs, textiles, tabletop, gift and many others. January’s Market opened with a bang – specifically the grand opening of the $345 million Building B, which featured 300 new showrooms in a stunning 16-story structure. It was also the largest show to date, and significantly exceeded the historic average of 50,000 registrations per market. “Evidenced by the overwhelming success of the show, World Market Center will be the dominant international Market in the U.S. for buyers and manufacturers,” said Harvey Dondero, chief executive officer of World Market Center. “This was a watershed event and a turning point for the industry. Las Vegas Market clearly represents the future of the home furnishings industry.” World Market Center officials reported growth not only in the number of registrations and attendees, but also in the ranking and size of buyers, the order writing, and the number of new product introductions. “The experience of buyers and exhibitors and the high level of energy felt at the market contributed to Las Vegas Market’s overwhelming success,” Dondero added. January’s record-setting event drew a significant influx of new buyers as well. Market officials report a 60 percent increase in new buyers alone from the last show. World Market Center worked aggressively to expand participation of international buyers to the January Market which resulted in more than a 50 percent increase in international visitors. Market officials cite a significant increase in buyers from Canada as well as Mexico, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. Kutub Dungarwalla of Wild Visions Africa, who owns and operates hotels in Kenya, attended Las Vegas Market for the first time stating, “We personally found the Las Vegas Market to be the best show in the furniture industry. We have attended many shows throughout the world and Las Vegas Market and the organizing committee definitely ranks first. It is not a traditional furniture fair that is held in a hall but a pleasant walk around the facilities … and with the approach of what retail should be all about. We were impressed with the quality of the exhibitors and the variety of products from all over. We have already placed orders with five new suppliers.” Furthermore, the majority of the Top 100 and Top 200 U.S. retailers attended January’s Las Vegas Market. Big and small buyers alike said they were pleased with the quality of the Market and the ease of shopping the complex. Tim McElwain, Lighting, Clocks & Decorative Accessories buyer for JCPenney Co., Inc. said “The Las Vegas Market has met all of my expectations; and each Market gets better than the one before. The new building and the change to the outside layout is great. The Market is convenient, well laid out and the big players are here. I can’t imagine a better place to have a Market than Vegas. People are extremely friendly and it is easy to get around. Las Vegas Market is so much easier to attend and they make you feel welcome.” Showroom tenants and temporary exhibitors introduce new product to record-breaking traffic and order-writing; Rave reviews confirm significant influx of high quality, major buyers January’s Las Vegas Market proved strong for every category with exhibitors and trade media giving rave reviews. Beyond furniture, World Market Center has exploded in other segments of home furnishings, becoming the new hub for accessories, lighting, and in a very big way – bedding and mattress suppliers. Las Vegas has also evolved into a major flooring venue with more than 30 permanent tenants, doubling its rug showrooms from six months ago. Dominating the line-up of exhibiting companies at Las Vegas Market were furniture suppliers, ranging from the top U.S. manufacturers and up and coming designers to some leading companies overseas. Ron Wanek, Chairman of Ashley Furniture Industries, the largest tenant at World Market Center who opened a stunning new showroom on the entire 15th floor of Building B, said he saw three times the number of dealers here than he sees at his other markets. These included some new accounts, but also many dealers who had not been to market in years but have decided to come back to Las Vegas due to the excitement of the Market. Also new to Building B, Dave Heard, executive vice president of sales for aspenhome, said: “It’s been a phenomenal market. Our new showroom has allowed us to really define and show who we are as a company today. It was our strongest market ever in terms of attendance and order writing.” Heard added, “The more manufacturers that are a part of World Market Center, the easier it will be on the retailer. Manufacturers need to show where the buyers want to be, and it seems as though they really like Las Vegas. This has been a very exciting event for the furniture industry and we feel the success of the January show cemented Las Vegas’ future.” Andrew Cohen, president of Human Touch/Interactive Health, said, “We saw more qualified attendees and Top 100’s at this show. From Florida to New York, East Coast retailers are making an investment into this market and finding new vendors and resources. We are seeing very qualified dealers in Las Vegas.” New exhibitors were equally enthusiastic. Marty Olsen, president of the Wilsonville, Oregon-based MasterCraft Furniture, an exhibitor at Cashman Center, said, “We realized this was where we needed to be. We have had a phenomenal Market and we’ve seen people and sold to people from all over the country and also outside of the continental United States, writing good orders with all of them. We have also partnered with some major national accounts that might not have learned about our company if we had not been here in Las Vegas.” Momentum continues with successful leasing underway for Building C and construction to begin on fourth building; 12 million square feet to be completed by 2013 or sooner Attendees of January’s Market witnessed another milestone on the horizon: Vertical construction was booming on Building C, a 2.1 million square foot, $540 million structure that will be complete in July 2008. The 16-story structure is already more than one-third leased to top manufacturers in all sectors of the home furnishings industry. Construction is also underway on the new parking garage, just north of the permanent showroom buildings. Officials announced that construction of the fourth building it set to begin by the end of the year, making World Market Center nearly 7 million square feet in the next three years. “Accelerating the development of the project allows World Market Center to achieve critical mass in a few short years,” said Ron Wackrow, Vice President of The Related Companies, a partner in World Market Center. “Planning building four, before the second building has even opened and as building three is coming out of the ground, is a testament to the resources and momentum behind World Market Center. Our plan is to execute continuous and overlapped construction of all remaining phases of development.” Wackrow said the completion of all 8 buildings will happen by 2013 “or sooner.” The Summer Las Vegas Market will take place July 30 – August 3, 2007 at World Market Center’s Buildings A and B, the Pavilions; the temporaries will be featured at Sands Expo & Convention Center opening on Tuesday, July 31. The next Market will be the largest show yet, featuring more than four million square feet of permanent and temporary exhibits. Attendees can start booking discounted Las Vegas hotel rooms now at www.LasVegasMarket.com. About World Market Center World Market Center is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and convention complex in Las Vegas. When fully built, at 12 million square feet in 8 buildings, World Market Center will be the largest trade show complex in the world. The $3 billion, state-of-the-art campus will be completed by 2013 and will showcase furniture, decorative accessories, lighting, area rugs, home textile and related segments, as well as the Las Vegas Design Center (LVDC) open year-round to the trade. World Market Center produces the semi-annual Las Vegas Market, held every January and July, and is the fastest growing home furnishings trade show in the world. World Market Center is now leasing the third building to a broad cross-section of the home furnishings industry. For more information World Market Center, and to find out about leasing or exhibiting opportunities, visit the website at www.LasVegasMarket.Com or call 888-WMC-SHOW (962-7469).

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